Geophysical Journal | 2014 volume 36 4

Pathways of the Modified Atlantic Water across the Strait of Sicily

© Imene Ben Jaber, Jihène Abdennadher and Moncef Boukthir

The aim of this study was to investigate the mesoscale and the sub-basin scale dynamics in the Central Mediterranean Sea and to clarify the pathway of the Atlantic water in this area, by mean of a high resolution eddy-resolving primitive equation numerical model. The seasonal variability of the two MAW flows crossing the Strait of Sicily is significantly different. The main flow along the Tunisian coast, which gives rise to the Atlantic Tunisian Current (ATC) is stronger than the Atlantic Ionian Stream (AIS) from autumn to winter. The ATC, which seems to be present during the year, is characterised by high spatial and temporal variability as suggested from model results. The high resolution model is able to reproduce well the AIS flow and variability, including the associated characteristic structures such as the Adventure Bank Vortex, the Maltese Channel Crest, the Ionian Bank Vortex and the overshooting into the northern Ionian Sea.

Key words: Central Mediterranean Sea, seasonal variability, Atlantic water, mesoscale.

<<back |